How to build or where to buy portable spotter arms How to build or where to buy portable spotter arms

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Thread: How to build or where to buy portable spotter arms

  1. #1
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    Dec 2017
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    Default How to build or where to buy portable spotter arms

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    I have a rack without spotter arms and I would like to build or buy ones for when I do squats and bench presses. What I am looking for are not pieces to add to the rack, but to use separately in the form of pedestals or fences.
    Could someone pass me a sketch to make spotter arms, whether they are made of wood or metal, please?
    Does anyone know where I can buy ones that are portable for, please?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
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    I made do for some time with a pair of adjustable steel sawhorses. The pair was rated for 2,600 lb. I affixed 2x4 lumber to the top, both to spread the weight and to be able to add stops to the ends, to keep the bar over the base of support.

    Getting a rack with spotter arms was far, far better, for many reasons, of course.

    Another approach might be to build jerk blocks, to hold the bar at the plates, instead of the bar itself. The sawhorses made fine adjustments easier; blocks would have been more sturdy. Blocks require more lumber and skill to assemble, but are probably cooler... The sawhorses can fold up and hang on the wall.

    SSC Phil Meggers has a series of videos on building jerk blocks:

    How to Build Jerk Blocks - Part 1: Stackers - YouTube
    How to Build Jerk Blocks - Part 2: The Topper - YouTube
    How to Build Jerk Blocks - Part 3: Finishing Touches - YouTube

  3. #3
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    Dec 2017
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    I have located the following saw horses that could function as spotter stands. Which one convinces you and would you recommend me?

    Metal, minimum height 64.5 cm, supports a maximum weight of 150 kg (two units would support 300 kg)
    CABALLETE TELESCOPICO 150KG KRT671002

    Wood, minimum height of 70 cm, supports a maximum weight of 400 kg (two units would support 800 kg)
    Caballete regulable - Caballete regulable en altura

    I try to be inspired by the ones that appear in this blog.
    Homemade Strength: Saw Horse Safety Stands

  4. #4
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    Dec 2017
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    I find the idea of building jerk blocks very interesting. I don't rule it out.

    I have found two models of easels to use as spotter stands, which one convinces you more?

    Metal, minimum height 64.5 cm, supports a maximum weight of 150 kg (two units would support 300 kg)
    CABALLETE TELESCOPICO 150KG KRT671002

    Wood, minimum height of 70 cm, supports a maximum weight of 400 kg (two units would support 800 kg)
    Caballete regulable - Caballete regulable en altura

    I try to be inspired by the ones that appear in this blog.
    Homemade Strength: Saw Horse Safety Stands

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    200

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo View Post
    I have a rack without spotter arms and I would like to build or buy ones for when I do squats and bench presses. What I am looking for are not pieces to add to the rack, but to use separately in the form of pedestals or fences.
    Could someone pass me a sketch to make spotter arms, whether they are made of wood or metal, please?
    Does anyone know where I can buy ones that are portable for, please?

    Thank you
    I'm curious why you don't want regular spotter arms connected to the rack in the same manner as J-hooks.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2021
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    Hugo:

    I have no particular recommendation, though can say that neither of those examples look good to me. Understand that maximum load is static, and kg is a unit of mass. Pounds are a unit of force. A dropped bar accelerates as it falls, and hits with more force than resting. The model I used here in the US was more like this one than the two you mention, and also more like the ones in the link you cite as inspiration: Juego de 2 caballetes C550 TOUGHBUILT


    Consider also, if the thing you're using fails, HOW will it fail? Will it bend? Snap? Fall? Will it fail a little bit, or will it fail catastrophically? Under a heavy squat, or really ANY bench press, that is a very important question. If a metal sawhorse could bend, but a wooden one could snap, that is a major difference.

    Like Lost and Found, I am also wondering what is driving your decision making. Please note that I used what I used out of necessity at the time. I got the best I could with what was available, and was using homemade squat stands, too, hence no spotter arm option. When I finally got a good deal on a squat stand, if it had not had spotter arms, I would have gotten some. The purpose of safety equipment is to save your life and limb, so it's not a good place to be cheap. Cheap plates will still work. A cheap bar, while not ideal, can still work for a while. Cheap safety equipment could mean being maimed or killed.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost and Found View Post
    I'm curious why you don't want regular spotter arms connected to the rack in the same manner as J-hooks.
    Because my racks do not have holes to incorporate spotter arms. So I have no choice but to try to manufacture or buy some spotter stands, which is cheaper than buying other racks. Novice's mistake. I wish I knew earlier.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Winter Springs, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo View Post
    Because my racks do not have holes to incorporate spotter arms. So I have no choice but to try to manufacture or buy some spotter stands, which is cheaper than buying other racks. Novice's mistake. I wish I knew earlier.
    This is far from your original question, but the best choice for you is to get a proper rack. Ideally a full (four post) rack. We've had many discussions here about equipment. The Titan T-2 is the cheap choice. Sell what you own for the best price you can get and buy the T-2. You will be happy that you did.

    I am paranoid about safety. I lift alone. And if something were to happen, even if I could scream and my wife heard me, she would likely have no idea what to do. If you look at my posting history you'll see that some have criticized me for being too paranoid. So take that into account but also think about what price is worth paying to lift without having to worry about dying.

    In addition to a full rack (where I always lift inside), I have jerk blocks sitting outside of the rack with extra bumper plates stacked on top so that, even if the rack failed, I'd have somewhere to put the bar down. I've failed plenty of reps inside of the rack and have confidence in it. But I'm not qualified to inspect welds and, with square tubes, you can't visually see if any corrosion develops. The SS rack is better because everything is visible (but also much more expensive and I understand that we all have budgets).

    Jerk blocks and extra bumper plates are a good thing to own. But in the short-term, even if you can build the jerk blocks yourself, it's not necessarily going to be cheaper than just getting a proper rack. And it's certainly not better. A 15" and 2.25" jerk box from Rogue would set you back $370 which is the same as the T2. However, 17.25" is not tall enough unless you are particularly short. So you'll need something to put on top of them in order to actually be safe.

    You might be able to build a set of jerk boxes for $150 but it's not nearly as good of a solution.

    If you are really hard-up, look in the used market. Also you can get a scratch-and-dent for $322.

    https://www.titan.fitness/sale/scrat...e/R401079.html

  9. #9
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    Dec 2017
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    Thank you for telling me about your experience and recommending this power rack. It looks so good. It is very complete and affordable. I will not rule it out. I have emailed Titan Fitness asking if they ship to Europe.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2017
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    starting strength coach development program
    Getting used to the idea of having to buy a rack in conditions, I want to exhaust all the possibilities of searching for something that replaces the spotter arms.

    I have located these two models on Titan Fitness and they seem to look good. They are adjustable in height and support a capacity of 700 lbs. This is better than saw horses, right?
    https://www.titan.fitness/strength/s...ds/401475.html
    https://www.titan.fitness/sale/scrat...e/R430032.html

    I have also located this other new York Barbells model that supports up to 1000 lbs.
    SAFETY STANDS
    Portable safety racks for when you don't got a spotter - YouTube

    From your point of view, can all this be worth?
    I have sent an email to both companies to find out if they ship to Europe.

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